Sherwood, Tigard-Tualatin districts outpace others across the state

The head of the state’s department of education made a special stop at Tualatin High School in 2011, ecstatic about the district’s 81 percent graduation rate. Today, it’s even better.

Tigard-Tualatin and Sherwood school districts graduated more students and had fewer dropouts than most districts across the state, according to data released last week by the Oregon Department of Education.

Nearly 84 percent of Tigard-Tualatin’s students graduated on time during the 2012-13 school year, compared to the state average of 68.7 percent.

Those numbers are an improvement over the 2011-12 school year, when 81.2 percent of students graduated on time.

Once again, Tualatin High School outperformed its Tigard counterpart, graduating 89 percent of students on time in 2013, compared to 82 percent in Tigard.

The district also made strides to close the achievement gap. While white student graduation rates in the district grew by about 1.5 percent over last year, Hispanic graduation rates in the district jumped 6 percent.

But the real star of the report was Sherwood School District, which had one of the highest graduation rates in the state.

Nearly 93 percent of students at Sherwood High School graduated on time in 2013, and more than 95 percent of students graduated within five years.

The school’s drop-out rate is also low, at less than 1 percent.

According to the report, 100 percent of the district’s minority student population graduated within five years.

Sherwood High Principal Ken Bell credits the district’s work to provide a seamless transition between middle school and high school as a leading cause for the school’s success.

When last year’s seniors were freshmen in high school, the district looked into academic performance.

“We are now seeing the results of that work as those freshmen are high school graduates,” said Corey Thompson, executive assistant to the superintendent.

But not every area was a cause to celebrate.

Only about 66 percent of students with disabilities graduated on time in Sherwood. That number is well above the state average of 37 percent, but the district said there was still a lot of work to do.

“While our rates were well above the state average, they also point to areas of growth where we will continue to work to serve our students better,” Thompson said.

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